The other day, I was struck by the word “when” but today, as I started reading Deuteronomy 28, the word “if” is highlighted.
I know quite a few scriptures from Deuteronomy 28. There are a lot of blessings written there and I have head people use them to pray over folks. Funny thing is, I’ve never associated the first verse in Deuteronomy 28 with those blessings. As I remember, we didn’t use those in the prayers.Check it out, it starts with the word “if.”
1 If you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, and heartily obey all his commandments that I command you today, God, your God, will place you on high, high above all the nations of the world.2 All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of God, your God:3 God’s blessing inside the city, God’s blessing in the country;4 God’s blessing on your children, the crops of your land, the young of your livestock, the calves of your herds, the lambs of your flocks.5 God’s blessing on your basket and bread bowl;6 God’s blessing in your coming in, God’s blessing in your going out.
Notice the conditional value of these blessings? Daughter of Encouragement, that’s just semantics. It’s just one word. God wouldn’t really withhold blessings from us, would He?
15 Here’s what will happen if you don’t obediently listen to the Voice of God, your God, and diligently keep all the commandments and guidelines that I’m commanding you today. All these curses will come down hard on you:
There proceeds to be a long list of curses that God initiates if we don’t listen to Him. Doesn’t that just blow your mind? I mean, we’ve been through Job together, so I feel like we can talk about these things. In Job, we were all having questions about God allowing Satan to harm Job and such, but here, it’s quite plain that God is causing these bad things to happen if one doesn’t listen.
Now, I’m just working through this, so bear with me.
I know that God is good and that God is love. That is where my argument must start. So, if I look at love, I don’t really see it here. I mean, just because we make a mistake or because we do something wrong God is going to smite us or give us a skin disease? It just doesn’t jive and if God is the same all the way through this book, then I’m confused. Unless…
Now this is just something I’m thinking…
What if it is God’s mighty hand that is holding back all the bad stuff from happening? What if He is like some huge dam preventing a flood of pestilence, disease and destruction? What if the listening to His Word is what prevents the yuck from flowing? What if He is pleading with the people to choose the wise path because He knows that the tidal wave of sorrow will come in on them?
I, being the curious one that I am, must as the “What if” questions to God’s “If” statements. I don’t NEED to understand, but it would sure help if I could understand something. 🙂 Did you hear that Lord? A little revelation, please? And even more grace to accept the things that I cannot understand right now. I’ll just have to rest in the assurance that the God who holds the universe together with His hands has it all worked out.